Wide coverage of the beheading of James Foley by the ISIS in Syria has once again sparked off an old debate – How much should the media report?

The wide coverage of the beheading of James Foley an American reporter by the ISIS in Syria has once again sparked off an old debate. How much should the media report? 

There is a very strong opinion among journalists that by showing the video of the murder world- wide they have fallen into the trap of the terror groups. They release these horrifying videos only so that they can spread the fear beyond the borders of the country where they have been committed.

Had the media not fallen for the bait their purpose would have been defeated. By showing this video on respectable channels they have only added credibility to the horrifying act. Obviously, the more they show it the more the condemnation from world leaders including US President Barack Obama and the United Nations. 

james foley Beheading of James Foley : To Report or Not to Report ...

I personally belong to this group of journalists and feel that we should have unanimously decided to boycott this video even though it concerns one of own fraternity. The more we spread the message of the terrorist the more we help their funding from forces that are bent on creating mayhem.

Had well known TV channels not shown this video again and again it would have surfaced only on channels that specialise in sleaze and cheap publicity for TRPs and the credibility of the ISIS would have been in jeopardy? It is the media that has given credibility to an organisation that has killed one of our own performing his duty in an increasingly hostile world.

But it would be foolish to ignore the other argument in this argument. The world- wide coverage of this footage has evoked very strong reaction among right thinking Muslims themselves. Moreover, the coverage has almost helped in identifying the group which did it. By now it has almost been established that the man who beheaded James Foley was speaking in a British accent. 

This is cause of worry for the 2.7 million Muslims in Britain. For instance, Ghaffar Hussain, managing director of counter-extremism think-tank Quilliam, says, “It is disturbing that people born and raised in Britain and who have gone to the same schools as us could have been essentially indoctrinated to the extent where they can justify raping women and chopping heads off” he said.

Muslims are being singled out in many countries including like France, Germany and the latest being China for special screening and asked to desist from wearing their traditional hijabs and growing beards. Such actions will only create more distrust among the other communities and ultimately hurt the employability of Muslims all over the globe.

This is certainly not what the jihadis want and they will be isolated among their own community if they continue with such acts.

– Amitabh Srivastava 

Image Source: James Foley

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